As drug testing becomes more prevalent in businesses, many are asking whether there is any way to quickly remove THC from the body in order to pass a drug urine test. Niacin is one such “cure” making the rounds on the Internet. So, does it actually work? Can taking doses of niacin help to quickly remove THC from the body?
What is Niacin
Niacin, also known as nicotinic acid and vitamin B3, is normally prescribed by doctors to treat hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol) and as an alternative to statin use for improving cardiovascular function in the body .
It is readily available in capsules from 50 mg up to 500 mg from most drug store and also online. In the larger doses, the body’s intake is controlled through a slow release mechanism in the capsule. While the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a daily intake of niacin of only 100 mg, three times per day, with a maximum daily dose of 1,000 mg , the amount required to mask THC in the body for a drug urine test is much higher.
How Does Niacin Help Remove THC from the Body
The treatment of using niacin for a drug urine test is called niacin flushing. THC is a metabolite that sits in the fat cells of the body. Those who use niacin argue that it targets these fat cells, helping the body to break down fats and remove them from the body .
But the effectiveness of niacin varies between different people depending on individual physical characteristics, such as height, weight, current body fat, and fitness level. Reported failure rates of niacin flushing may be related to different body types as well .
For those who do engage in niacin flushing, it is important to drink lots of water throughout. Niacin capsules are taken in 500 mg doses every few hours for several days . Each day, the amount of THC in the body decreases.
This means that to pass a drug urine test, advocates of niacin flushing must plan ahead. It will not work is the test is a surprise. It also requires much more niacin than the CDC recommends for a daily maximum dose.
What are the Side Effects of Using Niacin
As with any medical treatment, there are side effects to the use of niacin. The most common of these is skin irritation. The skin can become red, itchy, and warm to the touch . This is caused by vasodilation, where the body releases inflammatory molecules into the blood stream.
Advocates of niacin flushing simply refer to this as “burning the THC out of the system” . While it is certainly not a comfortable side effect, its effects are short-lived and not serious.
Serious side effects can occur with higher doses and prolonged use. It can lead to hepatotoxicity, a form of liver damage .
It can also cause an altered mental state, fever, acute and serious renal failure, microangiopathic hemolytic anemia (the destruction of red blood cells), thrombocytopenia (the destruction of platelets in the blood), and coagulopathy (a blood clotting condition associated with prolonged bleeding) .
The more serious side effects are associated with niacin overdosing. But given that the supposed treatment for passing a drug urine test requires high levels of niacin, the potential for these more serious side effects is very real.
Does it Even Work?
The simple answer is, no one is completely sure one way or the other. There are no scientific studies that definitively argue that it does. However, there is strong evidence that debunks rumors that exist about the successfulness of niacin flushing.
Niacin does not help to reduce body fat. It is used by some as a dietary supplement , but it not prescribed by doctors for this purpose.
A niacin deficiency can make it difficult for the body to convert fat cells into other fuels that the body requires, which is why advocates of this treatment make the claim . But replenishing a niacin deficiency is much different than increasing its normal level. Adding more than the normal amount in the body does provide additional benefits.
While some claim it does work, the argument that niacin helps to remove fat cells from the body does not hold up to scientific study. You should consider the side effects before embarking on a niacin treatment because they can have serious and lasting consequences. Whether or not it will help you pass a drug urine test is still up for debate.